Friday, July 17, 2009

Fruit! (raw peach cobbler-awesome!)


I had a wonderful conversation with a client the other day about fruit. She was discussing how for a long time she didn't eat fruit, and now that it is back in her life, wonderful memories of fruit as a child are rising. Farm stands, picking your own berries, or what a peach looks like from eye level. As only a child can stand by the peach cart and not only take in their soft appearance, but also smell their amazingly sweet smell. This conversation reminded me of how often fruit gets a bad rap. There are so many diets out their that tell you to steer clear of fruit because of its sugar/carb content. People become afraid of fruit and before they know it are making less appealing decisions around food (like ice cream), yet won't dare eat a peach for fear of its sugar content.

Most of my clients express that they don't eat enough fruit, and then ask how much is too much. I usually tell them that they can't (or probably won't) eat too much, to reach for fruits that are in season, and to revel in the juices and sweetness of a fresh piece. Fruit does have a lot of sugar, but that sugar is accompanied by minerals, nutrients, and fiber that aids in slowing the absorption of the sugar down, allows the sugar to be absorbed completely, and enzymes which help to thoroughly digest every last bite. We need sugar, just not the kind in a Mars Bar, the kind from a peach!

Raw foodies eat fruit all the time, it is a staple of their diets. Most people say, "I would love to have a piece of fruit for breakfast but it is not enough"...Raw foodies say, "don't just have a piece of fruit, have many pieces of fruit". My friend and co-worker Paul, whom its a strictly raw diet will sometimes eat 1 or 2 apples, an orange, some dates and cashews for breakfast. I prefer a smoothie, but this works for him and it is convenient.

Since being pregnant I crave fruit like a mo-fo. Chop makes fun of me and says I look like a collector (of fruit). Every week when we go off island I buy bags and bags of more peaches, plums, berries. When we ran out of the seasonal fruits I ate apples for a whole week, sometimes 2 in a sitting. I love my citrus smoothies and refreshing frozen lemonade, and I contribute my fruit intake to stretch mark prevention. Since the mango pie and dreaming about strawberry shortcake I have been wanting to experiment with more fruit based desserts and decided that it would be best to stick with a raw dessert that has all the tastes and textures of a baked dish, but without the refined sugar, eggs and butter.
The result of my dreaming of Strawberry Shortcake.


Raw Peach Cobbler (mouthwatering!)

Crust

3 cups pecans
1 vanilla bean (I used vanilla extract...it is not raw, but I had it on hand)
3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup pitted dates
Crust has the perfect blend of sweet and salty.

Sauce
3/4 cup pitted dates
3 T coconut oil
1/2 vanilla bean (vanilla extract)
2/3 cup water as needed

Sliced peaches covered in delicious date sauce.

Filling

5-6 ripe peaches, sliced (you can use mangos too, or mix it up with lots of stone fruits)

To make the crust, process the pecans, vanilla bean and salt into a crumbly powder (if using extract, wait and add it with the dates). Add 3/4 cup pitted dates and process. Sprinkle half the crust onto the bottom of a pie plate and set aside. Don't bother rinsing processor.

To make sauce, process 3/4 cup dates, oil, vanilla bean (or extract) and add water as needed to make a thick sauce.

Slice the peaches and mix with the sauce in a bowl. Spoon peaches onto the crust and top with the remaining half of the crust. This will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Instead of making a full pie, I halved the recipe and made parfaits, layering the crust with the filling in a glass.

The left over crust was perfect for my morning yogurt with mango and raisins.

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